As stock prices and investor confidence have collapsed in the wake of Enron, WorldCom, and the dot-com crash, people want to know how this happened and how to make sense of the uncertain times to come.
Into the breach comes one of Wall Street's legendary investors, Leon Levy, to explain why the market so often confounds us, and why those who ought to understand it tend to get chewed up and spat out. Levy, who pioneered many of the innovations and investment instruments that we now take for granted, has prospered in every market for the past fifty years, particularly in today's bear market. In The Mind of Wall Street he recounts stories of his successes and failures to illustrate how investor psychology and willful self-deception so often play critical roles in the process. Like his peers George Soros and Warren Buffett, Levy takes a long and broad view of the rhythms of the markets and the economy. He also offers a provocative analysis of the spectacular Internet bubble, showing that the market has not yet completely recovered from its bout of "irrational exuberance."
The Mind of Wall Street is essential reading for all of us, whether we are active traders or simply modest contributors to our 401(k) plans, as volatile and unnerving markets come to define so much of our net worth.
This well-written investment book delivers both adventure and financial insight, offering an intriguing theory that blends economic fundamentals with a keen understanding of the stock market's many moods. Levy, a legendary Wall Street investor with more than 50 years of experience and the founder of Oppenheimer Funds, certainly has a firm intellectual grasp on the inner workings of the stock market, but also sees its psychological dynamic. He fleshes out this analysis of the markets and the economy from the 1950s to today with amusing and exciting financial stories. Early in his career, Levy piggybacked on corporate raids run by J. Paul Getty and Sy Scheuer. After helping to found Oppenheimer and later, Odyssey Partners, he had the capital to lead the way. He explains each investment story step-by-step, from initial research to acquiring positions and influence, fighting through defenses and counterattacks, and finally cashing out years later, usually but not always at a handsome profit. Interwoven throughout the financial dramas are character vignettes, autobiographical sketches, anecdotes and thoughtful digressions on Levy's philanthropy, social theories and market theories.